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The Selected Poems of Clive Branson

The Selected Poems of Clive Branson

9781739173005
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Clive Branson (1907-1944) was born in Ahmednagar, India, the son of a major in the Indian army. He studied at the Slade School of Art and exhibited at the Royal Academy when he was just 23. Five of his paintings are today in the Tate. His daughter is the painter Rosa Branson.

 

In 1932 Branson joined the Communist Party. He taught for the National Council of Labour Colleges, spoke at weekly open-air meetings on Clapham Common and with his wife Noreen managed a Party bookshop. He took a leading role in driving Mosley’s British Union of Fascists out of Battersea, was responsible for the formation of a local Aid Spain Committee and fought with the International Brigades in Spain. Taken prisoner at Calaceite, he spent eight months in Franco’s prison camps. After he was repatriated, Branson

toured Britain raising money and support for the Spanish Republic. During the Blitz he painted Battersea street-scenes for the Artists International Association. Conscripted in 1941, he served as a tank commander in the Royal Armoured Corps. He was killed in action in Burma, aged just 36.

The Selected Poems of Clive Branson brings together, for the first time, the best of his surviving poetry. Passionate and committed, it’s a first-hand account of the most violent years of the twentieth-century – Britain in the Slump, Spain during the civil-war, Fascist prisons, the London Blitz, the cultural shock of India and its poverty, the war against Japan – recorded with a painterly eye and a communist faith in the power of the people.